Workforce/HR/Employment law

Extra £120k per region for flexible GP staffing banks

NHS England has published new guidance on how flexible ‘pools’ of GPs will be deployed to practices in local communities. A summary of the key points is provided below and you can download the guidance here.

Salaried and locum GPs are to be recruited into new flexible staffing ‘pools’ that will be set up with £120,000 of funding in each region, NHS England has said.

The new arrangement is based on the People Plan commitment to set up GP staff banks, and replaces the Locum Support Scheme set out in the new GP contract for 2020/21-2023/24.

The local banks will initially be used to provide extra staff during the Covid-19 pandemic, with GPs paid through NHS England’s £150m support fund to keep practices running until the end of March 2021.

However, the pools ‘can continue after this time’, said NHS England in the guidance.

GPs hired through pools should be paid in line with local arrangements, while it is recommended locum GPs are paid £77.57 per hour – or £323.21 per session.

NHS England’s People Plan said practices and PCNs would be encouraged ‘to offer more flexible roles to salaried GPs and support the establishment of banks of GPs’.

The latest guidance reveals regions will be given £120,000 – on top of support from the £150m fund – through their local sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) or integrated care system (ICS).

The NHS England guidance said: ‘The pools can provide a mechanism for practices to use the [£150m] fund for extra salaried GP capacity until end March 2021. Yet the pools can continue after this time.

‘These pools will support groups of PCNs – most likely at CCG or place footprint – to increase capacity in general practice and create a new offer for local GPs wanting to work flexibly.’

The full NHS England guidance Primary care flexible staff pools in 2020/21 can be downloaded here.

A version of this article was previously published in our sister title Pulse

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